Residue of a Remnant
By Craig C. White
The English Bible uses the word “remnant”. Remnant most interestingly refers to a small part that is left of the whole nation of Israel after God judges them.
One Hebrew word for “remnant” is:
a remainder or residual (surviving, final) portion: – that had escaped, be left, posterity, remain (-der), remnant, residue, rest.
Here is “remnant” used in a verse.
2Ch 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
This is talking about the Jews who did not get captured by the Assyrian kings around 700 BC. A few Jews were still left in the land of Israel.
There is an even more interesting word used in the English Bible, “Residue”! Residue can mean an even smaller group of people!
Properly an overhanging, that is, (by implication) an excess, superiority, remainder; also a small rope (as hanging free): – + abundant, cord, exceeding, excellency (-ent), what they leave, that hath left, plentifully, remnant, residue, rest, string, with.
Here is “residue” used in a verse.
Zechariah 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
In the verse above “residue” refers to the few inhabitants of Jerusalem who do not flee but stay behind in the city and are hunkered on Mt. Zion until the end of the Tribulation.
Here are the two words used together in the same verse.
Zephaniah 2:9 Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.
In the verse above “the residue of my people” are the people of Judea who have fled into the Jordanian wilderness during the Tribulation. When Jesus returns they will plunder Jordan.
Also in the verse above “the remnant of my people” includes every Jew who has survived the Tribulation!
The residue is only part of the remnant.
The events of the coming seven year Tribulation period crescendo into a pinnacle of trial for the nation of Israel, and also into a moment in time when the trials are over and redemption comes to Israel at last and forever. Jesus Christ will return to save Israel from its enemies.
At the epicenter of this moment between trouble and salvation sits a small band of Jews waiting for their redeemer on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. They are the last Jews in Jerusalem. They are the residue of Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:2.
You probably haven’t thought about it much but understanding that moment in time when the residue of Jerusalem is rescued by Jesus Christ will illuminate much of what Jesus said in the Gospels.
In the English Bible several Hebrew words are translated as “remnant” and “residue”. Sometimes the English word for remnant and residue are the same Hebrew word.